During the last several months, I used primarily my Fenix 7X for my sport activities, mostly because the battery lasts so much and I don’t have to look for my charger for weeks, regardless of how much I use it for tracking my runs or walks.
But, at the same time, I have worn the Polar Vantage V2 also very much – especially at night, to look at the sleep analysis and also for my runs, since I like the post-workout analysis in Polar Flow.
For 24/7 wear, the Polar Vantage V2 is easier to wear because of its size and lightness, but also it lacks the notification flexibility Fenix has – you can’t actually use the Polar only to notify you on calls and nothing else – it’s all or nothing and I can’t stand that – also it doesn’t support Romanian charset, so the messages are not complete when displayed on the watch. So, in the end, I wear the Polar for several days and after that I come back to my Fenix, just because of missing this small (but important for me) feature – the flexibility of notifications. I don’t use the music storage, payment or even the maps .. at least not for running, maybe for hiking – so I don’t miss much of my Fenix when I wear the Vantage V2.
In terms of GPS accuracy, I can’t complain – the Vantage V2 works just fine for me – the measured distance seems even better than Fenix 7X with all systems/multiple-band on (based on 2 runs without Stryd and correction from Strava … I know it’s not scientific measurement with some fancy wheel). The stability of the connection with my Stryd is good, never had issues and I feel that Polar takes the calibration factor more serious than Garmin, because it just applies the calibration factor to the “raw distance” measured by Stryd, whereas Garmin tends to have a lower multiplication value than the calibration factor (I did more than 10 tests with both and Stryd, shared the details with the Stryd team .. never got an answer other than they need to look into it, but that wasn’t their priority).
For Vantage V2 users, please wear the watch on the hand you say you wear it in Flow, because otherwise I’ve seen that the altimeter goes crazy and you’ll get wrong ups and downs in your runs … like 40-50 meters up and down suddenly – that doesn’t happen is I wear it on my left hand (where it is “declared” to be) – same route, normal changes in altitude not
Also, for best results, if you want to get good results from your OH1 or Verity Sense, wear it on the same arm as the watch you connect with … otherwise you may see drops .. it doesn’t happen each time, but it happens and it does affect both Garmin of Polar watches so it doesn’t matter if it’s ANT+ or Bluetooth connection.
What changes would make the Polar Vantage V2 to stay on my wrist permanently? Not that many, and not that difficult (in my view) to implement:
- notification flexibility (calls/calls+the rest) like they recently added notifications during workouts on the V2 (as with Pacer Pro)
- enhanced search in Flow workouts – can I just find my marathons in a search? (I can do it in all the other tools I use – Garmin Connect, Strava, Runnalyze, intervals.icu, Training Peaks)
- more flexible structured workouts definition – not just zone based but value based – it would open up the possibility to (for the beginning manually) migrate/define some plans from other platforms (let’s take for example Jack Daniel’s formula applied to pace .. hard to keep it in custom zones)
Any other change would be appreciated – more support for extended data from Stryd, multiple alarms, but those would be secondary. And also, maybe a faster sync with the Flow mobile app … it’s just painful sometimes .. even if I save the workout on my Garmin one full minute after I saved it on my Vantage V2, Garmin will sync it faster to connect and subsequently to Strava for example.
As software development, both for device on also platforms, Garmin and Polar are at opposite sides of speed – Garmin sends so many new changes with their alpha/beta approach, Polar changes so little and so seldom. Even though people complained about Garmin’s experiments, I didn’t see any stability issues with my Fenix 7X (I used the latest beta 9.28b) and the features they released with Forerunner 955 are starting to appear on the Fenix line as well (HRV Status trends, Training Readiness, adaptive daily workouts with events correlation) – their sleep detection has improved over the last months, matching the results I see on my Vantage V2. Polar software is stable, but it’s also static .. it didn’t change much (at least not visibly) – they ported the notifications during workouts from Pacer line, but nothing else.
Garmin takes into account for the HRV over night as well so yesterday’s score for Garmin is 46 and that’s well reflected in the Nightly Recharge in Polar, but not in the Sleep Score.
I’m looking forward to seeing the complete rollout of the features from 955 to Fenix 7 line, so far the work is impressive.
For Polar, I hope that they will invest more into their platform and new improvements will come to Vantage V2 or at least the V3 will add the expected improvements (some of the hardware ones from Pacer Pro were well received) and maybe they will keep their place as an alternative for the Garmin feature myriad or even the push coming from Coros (and Apple ?).
Be well and enjoy your running!